Money

4 habits to adopt in your 20s to be more successful in your 30s

For better or for worse, much of our financial education comes from our parents.

And if your parents aren't saving-savvy, you might feel like you've missed out on some important money lessons.

Tom Corley, an accountant and financial planner, tries to solve that problem. He shares the lessons he's learned from his research into wealthy individuals, as well as great personal finance advice he's received over the years.

In his book "Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life," Corley details the lessons rich parents give their kids, many of which will help anyone in their 20s be more successful in their 30s.

If you want to be rich later on in life, he says, adopt these four habits as soon as you can.

1. Follow the 25% rule

Conventional wisdom says to not spend more than one-third of your income on housing. But Corley says you should aim for even less than that.

"Don't spend more than 25 percent of your monthly net pay on housing," Corley says. "It doesn't matter if you own or rent."

High rent or mortgage payments prevent you from accumulating wealth, he writes.

2. Follow the 10% rule

Trying to keep up with the Joneses is a habit that will limit your financial growth, or worse, send you into debt.

"Don't spend more than 10 percent of your monthly net pay on entertainment. This includes movies, restaurants and bars," Corley writes.

3. Make your money grow on its own

Rich people have multiple income streams, often from good investments, Corley writes.

"Depending on your tolerance for risk, invest anywhere from 25 to 50 percent or more of your savings in investments," he writes. Investing in your pensions, stocks and bonds, real estate or gold are all options to consider.

Tom Corley spent approximately five years surveying and researching self-made millionaires.
Tom Corley
Tom Corley spent approximately five years surveying and researching self-made millionaires.

4. Invest in the right people

Almost no one becomes successful on his or her own. That's where having good friends, mentors and acquaintances comes in.

A whopping 79 percent of wealthy people network five hours or more per month, compared to only 16 percent of poor people, his research found.

"Develop your relationships," Corley writes. "Find mentors at work, from teachers or people you simply admire and respect."

The same applies to your friends, who not only could give you great career and life advice but could even help you get a job down the line.

A quick text or email might be easier, but picking up the phone and speaking to someone is more personal.

"Call your friends more often," he says.

In addition to these habits, a few simple lifestyle changes could also help you earn more money.

Business mogul Richard Branson, for example, says that running regularly doubles his productivity. Warren Buffett reads voraciously, which is a habit linked to success.

More broadly, and perhaps even more importantly, is the best advice one self-made millionaire gives: "Invest in yourself."